The Police Service Commission (PSC) has commended the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force for resisting the hijack of off-cycle elections by miscreants.
Ikechukwu Ani, Head, Press and Public Relations, in a statement on Sunday, said the Police Service Commission Staff Monitors deployed to the nine Senatorial districts of Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states said the policemen on election duty were courageous and fairly contained intermittent cases of attempts to hijack the elections.
According to the statement, the officers in several of the polling units visited were said to be courteous, approachable and professional.
“Although there were incidents of attacks on voting units, some arrests were recorded in many places, especially in Kogi State.
“The Police were said to have also contained pockets of attacks in Brass and some other locations in the riverine areas of Bayelsa State,” the statement said.
It said there were, however, reports of vote buying in the three states but without the connivance of police officers on election duties.
“The Commission monitored five of the eight local governments in Imo West. In Imo North and East, there were visible patrol of policemen in collaboration with the military on the major roads with police helicopter said to have hovered over the voting space throughout the election period.” It said
It said police officers were said to have arrived in most of the voting units in Bayelsa very early, properly dressed and exhibited a high level of professionalism.
“PSC Monitors sighted an average of two policemen in most of the voting units while in few others one Police personnel were seen.
“The Police were said to have sent early signals in Kogi State where it reportedly arrested several miscreants who attacked Polling Units.” It said
According to the statement, the officers on election duty were complimented by officers from sister agencies.
It said the Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Solomon Arase, CFR, retired Inspector General of Police, who monitored the exercise in Kogi, commended the three Deputy Inspectors General of Police; Frank Mba; Sani Habu and Daniel Isokari-Pedro, who supervised police operations in the states for their quick responses to the Commission’s intermittent requests for police intervention in troubled areas,
Arase advised that the police should remain on guard and prepared to forestall any breakdown of law and order after the announcement of the election results.
He also directed that in the few places where there were pockets of police misconduct, the police management should quickly investigate and forward its recommendations to the Commission for immediate disciplinary action.
Arase said the Commission will continue to monitor police conduct during elections as it puts the police on its toes for optimal performance.
The PSC Staff Monitors operated from the nine Senatorial districts, while the National Coordinating team partnered with the civil society groups and operated from the Situation Room in Abuja.